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Quelling the panic, being proactive - Denese Rodgers

Hot topic: Clayton County's public schools may lose their accreditation.

Our school system was adding about a classroom per week before this accreditation issue began in Çlayton. That stat will probably go nuclear next year.

Now, rather than thinking like some of our neighbors, and building a fence around Henry County, let's take a whole different look at this situation.

When I was a kid, I went to Henry County High School. A whole bunch of us did: Judge Ben Studdard, Rev. Kenyatta Bush, Pharmacist Tony Moye, and DOT board member Dana Lemon. We didn't do half bad, and we were not at the top of the educational heap back then.

I choose to be an optimist, so I wish to take a forward look at how we can help. Prophylaxis is much more cost efficient than remedy, so let's get to it. There are never enough active parents in the school system. You all have something to contribute, either through time, talent, or treasure.

If you want to sit at home and complain, stay off the blogs - we don't' need the negativity, if you're just going to sit and gripe.

How about we all work together to help the schools manage their limited resources, subsidized by us as individuals and their Partners in Education? It is a program that is sponsored by the Board of Education and the Henry County Chamber of Commerce designed to link businesses and schools in an effort to enrich educational opportunities for students.

Now as a business owner, wouldn't you be interested in a well-educated workforce? Call the BOE at (770) 957-6601.

Graduating high school seniors need to be encouraged to become certified through Georgia's Work Ready Initiative. They have job profiling and personal skills talent assessments (WorkKeys) to more quickly and accurately match potential employees to available jobs. Contact the Chamber on this one: (770) 957-5786.

Another avenue to be proactive is to help raise money for our own Henry High Schools Foundation scholarship program. The outfit is planning a fund-raiser at the end of July called, "Are You Smarter Than a College Student?"

Monies raised at this event will go to provide scholarships for Henry County graduates. You can find out more by calling (770) 914-8581. If you have nice, deep pockets, you can even underwrite a scholarship yourself. Remember that poor college kids need every little bit they can get.

I remember my very last semester at Georgia State College. Tuition was already steep, and when I got to the checkout at the book store, my tab was over $750. For books.

Seven hundred and fifty bucks?" I asked the clerk. "Are you sure?"

Yes ma'am," he replied. I said, "Son, you are putting a serious dent in my beer budget."

He just looked at me blankly...

I don't think they teach humor to the check out clerks at the book store.

Denese Rodgers is executive director of Connecting Henry, a social services, networking, community organization in Henry County.